“...Yes, the dancing body seems unaware of everything else, it seems to know nothing of its surroundings. It seems to hearken to itself and only to itself, to see nothing, as though its eyes were jewels, unknown jewels like those of which Baudelaire speaks, lights that serve no useful purpose…”
Paul Valéry, excerpt from Philosophie de la danse (Philosophy of the Dance), 1936
Dance Sing Love – three words initially chosen by the artist Valentina Traïanova in French (danser chanter aimer) after she wrote the poem “I am sinking" last summer, then at a residency at Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice. “Did I have to dive in and sink for an obvious answer to emerge on the surface of the sea – that I could do nothing but continue to dance, sing and love?” Thus, the title emerged from that encounter with the world, which is also a manifesto against the decadence of today’s world that increasingly limits our freedoms.
“Dancer Chanter Aimer” brings together never before exhibited drawings, sound sculptures, a video performance as well as the performance “Lust”, written especially for this exhibition. They all derive from the same gesture and reveal a process – each work is in fact multiple in its forms, and sometimes in dialogue with other works of literary or artistic movements: Mary Wigman’s Hexentanz with “Danse de la sorcière”; Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate with “Schtipta canta kak ta rooooo ooo u”; Barnett Newman’s Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue with “Who’s afraid of a signer”? Last but not least, Antony Trayanov’s world of animation and his film “Point of View” („Гледна точка“) are reflected in the “Flaque” series by Valentina Traïanova.
The works featured in the exhibition manifest the desire that the three verbs in the title contain. The drawings, songs and sculptures meet and diverge, transform and unite in an unstable dance and a love song, embodied and yet sustained by the figure of the “singer-skater” who glides from the street to the opera and back again, from one language to another, to create a jubilant street opera.
And as Valentina told us in one of our first conversations about this exhibition, “Life is a cartoon – you jump into an empty pool and never die.”
Valentina Traïanova is an artist, performance artist and singer, born in Sofia (Bulgaria), living in Paris. She arrived in France in 1996, in the city of Nice, where she presented herself as a windsurfing champion in order to obtain a French visa before continuing her studies there. She graduated from the Art Academy Jules Pasquin (Sofia, Bulgaria) and has a Master's degree from the International Academy of Fine Arts E.P.I.A.R. Villa Arson (Nice, France). She created the duo Lubovda with the French writer and poet Antoine Dufeu.
In a practice where drawing, song, writing, dance, and sound sculptures meet together, Valentina Traïanova’s voice is transformed into material for sculpting. Reflecting on the passage from one field of art to another, she invents the figure of the ‘singer-skater’.
In August 2023, she was in residence in Venice at the Emily Harvey Foundation with her project “I am sinking”. Her latest performance, aeì, was presented at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris as part of the Festival Les écritures bougées co-organized with the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris (June 2023), and at Largo in Sofia as part of Art Affairs & Documents’ Sofia Art Projects III (October 2023).